BRING LOVE TO THE STREETS.

We need to learn to love wholeheartedly. Love everyone, as Jesus loved.

Just as we see ourselves as  the main character of our own lives, everyone else sees themselves as their main character. We need to try to wrap our heads around the fact that what we do, positively or negatively, affects others. For the Good Man, this all boils down to love, the greatest commandment.

” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. ” — Matthew 22:37-39

We need to love and become love.

” Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ”
— 1 John 4:8

Everything hinges on this. If we love God, we are called to love our brothers and sisters. We are called to love our enemies, and our neighbors as ourselves. We all love ourselves. We take care of ourselves, feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, we are number one in our movie. We need to realize that guy behind you in line at the grocery store with 5 items, behind your cart full, is number one in his movie. Become love. Let him go ahead of you. Try to understand how you would feel if someone did that for you. You didn’t change his life, but you showed him love, and therefore, you showed him God. We need to start to look for the small things in our daily lives that can show love to others.

Now loving people you just generally don’t like is a little more tough. But if we become love, we must love all people. Unconditionally, no matter how they treat us. We need to understand that every person we come into contact with is a child of God. God loves them. And so we need to love them too.

” If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. ”
–Matthew 5:46-48

Now obviously we will never achieve perfection. We are not capable of it. But we can strive for it. And the key to that is love. If we nail down how to love, everything else will fall into place. Take the Ten Commandments for example. If we love unconditionally, we won’t murder, as that is not loving. We won’t commit adultery, break oaths, have revenge. We will love those that hate us and in that way, be closer to God and on the narrow path to righteousness.

” God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them. ”
— 1 John 4:16

Live in love. Bring love to the streets, and let God live in you.

-PRL

WAKE UP SLEEPER.

Instructions for Christian Living

” So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

That , however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by it’s deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in the true righteousness and holiness.

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Those who have been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed, because these are improper for the Lord’s people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk of coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a person is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But in everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

” Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. ” 

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ”

Ephesians 4:17-32 and 5:1-20

‘Nuff said.

-PRL

CHARACTER IS GREATER THAN REPUTATION.

In our brave new world of internet and social networking, reputation has slowly become more sought after than character. A friend shared this little saying this past week in our Home Church and it is so true! Another thing he said was ” Someone with a great reputation usually has no character, and someone with great character usually has a great reputation as well “. So why do we chase after the reputation? People want others to see the things they ” own ” and the great trips they go on. They display mushy intimate comments to their loved ones on their anniversaries for the world to see how in love they are. Why do people do these things? Is it to cover up trouble at home? Is it because of personal insecurities? Now this isn’t to say every person that wants to share something with the world is chasing after a good reputation. It all depends on where your heart is. You know when you post something on a social network what your intentions are. If you genuinely are excited about something and just want to show your friends and family, there is no harm in that. But if you know in your heart that you just want to show something off, that’s different. I’ve done it before, and I know the feeling. You can’t WAIT for someone to like or comment on your post or picture. Or you know it will cause envy, and it feels good to know people wish they had your life or possessions  This is wrong! Why do we do this? How can we stop this and chase after character instead?

DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.

No, don’t do that. This will not cure your issues, and Facebook can actually be a very useful tool. We just need to learn not to abuse it! We need to stop caring about what others think, and about impressing people. This means on and off the web. Men, be secure in who you are! Tell your wife how much you love her in person, in a card, or over a nice dinner. Try talking to people face to face more often to share your news or new purchases. Pick life over a computer screen. We’re so impressed with 3D technology, and our eyes can see 3D in real-time all around us! Chase after character, and your reputation will proceed you! Character is one of the most important traits of a Good Man. Let people get to know the real you and let them say you are a Good Man…full of character!

HW, HL DAY 5 – TAKE HER OUT.

Last tip of the week.

Take your wife out more often.

This is just a simple straightforward tip that most guys forget. Take your wife out on a date! Just because the dating and honeymoon are over, doesn’t mean the dates stop! If you don’t have kids yet, this one is really easy. Just take your wife out every couple weeks or ask her how often she would like to go out. She may not care about dates that much if you spend a lot of time together already. Now if you have some troublemakers running around, dates are a little more involved. But just make it work. Maybe once a month is all you can fit in, as long as you’re trying to set that husband and wife time aside. A lot of families are all about the kids as soon as they come along, and they forget about number one. The person you started it all with! And the one you’ll be left with once the kids are gone.

So remember your wife, and take her out once in a while.

-PRL

HW, HL DAY 4 – LOVE LANGUAGES

Tip number four:

Learn your wife’s love language. 

There are five love languages.

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch

Everyone has a different way of expressing and receiving love. We usually learn our language from watching our parents show love to each other. This could be considered our native language. Learning a different language later on in life doesn’t come easy, but we can with some work. In a marriage, you will most likely have a different love language than your spouse. When you try to communicate your primary or native love language with your spouse, and they don’t understand what we’re communicating, we can become confused or frustrated  It’s like speaking a different language, literally. If you spoke only English and your wife spoke only French, you would have to learn each other’s languages to communicate. Once you learn each other’s love language, you can communicate and have a happy long lasting marriage.

You can determine your love language through many different Love Language Surveys online.
Or, click the link below and buy a book!

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=love%20languages&sprefix=love+l%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Alove%20languages

I’ll explain the five languages briefly and you may be able to determine yours and your spouse’s easily.

Words of Affirmation

This is the verbal love language. Words of kindness and encouragement are key. Someone with this love language needs to be affirmed in your love for them. They need to hear you tell them you love them, and why. They need your encouragement and verbal support daily. Now this can be very easy, depending on your wife. Maybe all she needs is an ” I Love You ” once a day. Or a compliment every morning  before she heads out for work, which could carry her through the whole day. Actions do not speak louder then words for someone with this love language.

Acts of Service

Now this love language is the opposite. Actions do speak louder than words. Your wife wants to be shown how much you love her. Completing the honey-do list is huge here. If your wife has this type of love language, show her you love her by helping out around the house and lessening her burden.

Receiving Gifts

Now if your wife has this love language, husbands, don’t fret. The receiving gifts love language does not mean the more money you spend on your wife the happier she will be. Don’t mistake it for materialism. The receiver of gifts thrives off of the thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift. It could be expensive, it could be homemade or even free. It’s the thought that counts for this love language. A gift is something tangible in your wife’s hand that shows her you thought of her enough to take the time to buy/make it for her. If your wife has this love language, try to keep track of things she likes or wants. Buying or making her something, for no reason, besides to show your love, can go a long way for this type of woman. Learning how to become a gift giver is one of the easier languages to learn, and you’ll feel great  giving her gifts, knowing how much it means to her.

Quality Time

This love language is pretty straightforward. Your wife just wants to be around you! And she wants to feel like you want to be around her too. If this seems to be a problem in your marriage, set a time aside every week that is special for you. Now there may be different levels to this love language. Your wife may just want to be around you in general, no matter what you’re doing together. Or, sitting on the couch watching a movie together may not be enough. She may need devoted one on one time. Maybe going out for a walk, or just sitting on the couch talking to each other. If this is your wife’s love language, figure out what she wants or needs from you so you can effectively communicate your love.

Physical Touch

This one is hands on. A hug  here, a kiss there. Cuddling up together on the couch during a movie. You need to show your wife that you are there.  If you don’t share this language, it can be one of the harder ones to learn. If your wife has this love language, ask her what sort of physical touch she needs and do your best to give it to her. Maybe you’ll find it’s less than you think.

Once you think you have determined your wife’s love language, sit down with her and see if you’re right. Tell her what your love language is and ask each other what you need to feel loved, according to your language. Work hard at showing your wife love the way she needs it you’ll find you will be communicating better than ever.

-PRL